If you are shopping for a lightweight insulated jacket that can keep you warm, dry, and comfortable, the chances are you would have come across the North Face Thermoball and the Patagonia Nano Puff.
Both of these jackets are awesome – there’s no doubt about that, and they both have some very cool features that make them stand out from other similar jackets out there.
Despite having quite a few similarities, there are some key differences between these two jackets that make them appeal to different people depending on what outdoor adventures they have planned.
As an overall comparison, we prefer the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket as it really does stand out over pretty much any other comparable jacket out there.
That being said, the North Face Thermoball Jacket does hold its own against the Nano Puff, so in this article, we compare these two high-performance jackets so you can decide which one you prefer.
North Face Thermoball and Patagonia Nano Puff Compared: Specifications
North Face Thermoball vs Patagonia Nano Puff Rated
Warmth, Waterproof & Windproof
When looking at the warmth each of these jackets provides, you’ll probably struggle to find too much of a difference.
Neither one is designed to be used in extremely cold conditions but instead, they make for ideal protection in milder weather or even as mid-layers with thermals underneath and a warmer outer layer on top.
Both the Nano Puff and Thermoball jackets have a durable water repellent (DWR) coating which makes them water-resistant. It’s worth noting though that neither of these jackets are completely waterproof so if you are heading out into the wild and are expecting some rain, you’ll need to have additional waterproof layers with you.
The Nano Puff is also considered windproof so this is an added bonus to the jacket. As already mentioned, it’s not designed for extreme conditions but it can certainly keep you warm and protected in mildly windy conditions.
Overall Style, Shape & Fit
The Thermoball and the Nano Puff jackets are both stylish and add an element of coolness to your outdoor gear.
They have been designed to fit reasonably loosely while still giving enough protection to keep you dry, warm, and comfortable out in the wild.
Of these two jackets, the Nano Puff has a slightly snugger fit. This can make a difference if you prefer your jacket to feel a bit tighter. If you prefer a looser fit, then the Thermoball offers this while still keeping you protected.
One of the reasons why the Nano Puff could be considered to be slightly warmer than the Thermoball is because of the small tail it has on its back. While this might not make a huge difference, it can add an extra bit of protection from the cold or wind. The fact that Patagonia has added this to the shape of the jacket shows they have considered how important these small differences can be.
North Face has made the women’s version of the Thermoball quite form-fitting making it a bit more of a challenge to add a layer underneath it. As the men’s version fits a bit looser, adding layers is a bit easier.
Patagonia and North Face have both gone for a stitched brick pattern on the jackets. This gives them both a very simple yet stylish look that most outdoor lovers would appreciate.
Patagonia has gone for a slightly more complicated design with a staggered pattern whereas North Face has kept their lines straight and true with their stitching pattern.
Both jackets look very cool so the small styling differences may add a bit of each brand’s character to the design without hindering the overall performance of the jackets.
Patagonia has built a strong reputation for being an extremely environmentally conscious brand.
The fact that the Nano Puff uses PrimaLoft Gold Eco Insulation made from 100% postconsumer recycled polyester that has been produced using reduced emissions (PURE technology), shows that the brand continues to do its bit for our planet.
Even the shell and lining of the Nano Puff are made from 100% recycled polyester.
While North Face is making moves to be a more environmentally-friendly brand, they aren’t quite at the same level as Patagonia just yet.
That being said, the Thermoball is made from recycled materials and North Face has relaunched its entire Thermoball range in the form of Thermoball Eco.
Thermoball Eco jackets are made from recycled polyester and recycled insulation. This does seem to show that North Face is trying to use more sustainable materials and processes in the manufacture of their products.
Patagonia has been using recycled materials for a long time and is extremely well-known for working as sustainably as possible.
While any progress to a more sustainable and planet-friendly way of working should be celebrated, Patagonia has been doing this for a long time whereas North Face is only more recently moving to this way of thinking.
If being environmentally friendly is a big factor in your decision-making process, the Nano Puff might be a better choice for you.
Value for Money
In terms of price, both of these jackets are around the $200 – $300 mark depending on the size and color you choose.
Patagonia offers a lifetime warranty on all of their products so, if something were to go wrong with your Nano Puff Jacket, you could get it repaired or replaced quickly and easily.
North Face offers a two-year warranty on their products. While this is a very reasonable offering, when compared to Patagonia’s warranty, it does come up a little short.
Both of these jackets are at the higher end of the market and are certainly not cheap jackets. However, they are both incredibly well-made, durable, and perform exactly as you would expect them to.
If you just look at the brands as a whole, Patagonia tends to be the more expensive of the two but they do a great job in making all of their products very good value for money.
Ultimately, the size, color, and style of jacket you decide on will dictate the cost but whether you choose the Nano Puff or the Thermoball, you will likely be very satisfied with your new jacket.
As we said at the very start of this article, we lean towards the Nano Puff over the Thermoball.
Both of these jackets have similarities in the form of their synthetic insulation, their overall style, and their level of water resistance.
While there is no arguing that North Face’s Thermoball and Patagonia’s Nano Puff are both excellent jackets – the longer warranty, the bigger commitment to the environment, and the overall performance of the Nano Puff make it our winner in the Nano Puff vs Thermoball battle.
North Face Thermoball Jacket Reviewed
The North Face Thermoball Jacket is a lightweight insulated jacket that is water-resistant and very capable of keeping you warm on those slightly colder days out in the wild.
Its synthetic insulation and DWR coating help it to dry quickly to make sure you stay warm and comfortable on your outdoor adventures.
The two zippered handwarmer pockets are large and are ideal for not only keeping your hands warm but also for carrying some basic essentials with you.
The Thermoball offers a bit of extra warmth when being worn as a mid-layer on really cold days or it can be the ideal top layer on milder days out.
- Water-resistant thanks to its DWR coating
- The simple design keeps the weight light while still offering good levels of protection from the elements
- Two large pockets for keeping your hands warm and for storing some essentials while out in the wild
Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket Reviewed
The Nano Puff is a lightweight insulated jacket that is water-resistant, wind-resistant, and made from recycled materials.
Primaloft Gold Eco Insulation keeps you well protected from the elements, while the DWR-coated shell keeps a good amount of water at bay.
Elasticized cuffs and hem help you find the perfect fit, while the jacket's ability to fold into itself to form a compact package is very useful when space is at a premium.
Two zippered pockets do a great job of keeping your hands warm and keeping water out.
- High-performing synthetic insulation keeps you warm and comfortable
- Water and wind-resistant
- Folds into itself for convenient storage and transport